Name: Tiffany Shawn
Location: St. Louis, MO
Location: St. Louis, MO
How long have you been natural? Did you transition or do the Big Chop? How long did you transition?
I tried once to go natural in 2008, but had not done my homework! I was miserable with trying to figure out the difference in the two textures and how to care for them at the same time. I was trying to continue to flat iron it on a weekly basis and this was NOT working for my hair type! Only five months into it, I gave up and relaxed my hair again. When I discovered the natural hair world of bloggers and vloggers, I decided to try again! My last relaxer was either May or June 2010 and I did the BC on December 26, 2010. Best decision ever! The second time around, I wore my hair in more roller sets and kinky, two-strand twists. Since June 2010, I’ve only flat ironed my hair once and blown it out twice. I refrain from using heat as much as possible as to not disturb my curl pattern.
Why did you choose that route?
I have always had thick, shoulder length hair, but there was a section in the back of my scalp that was really acting out. I assumed it was from the relaxers and possibly the stresses of every day life. Even almost three years later, I still have a slight issue with a tip-of-my-pinky sized section of my scalp, but it was about a 3x2in section before I stopped relaxing my hair! So now I’m pretty sure it was the relaxer reacting negatively with my scalp. I never did go to a dermatologist, but that’s still a possibility down the line.
What inspired you to have natural hair?
Well for one, TWISTS!! I always loved seeing natural, twisted hairstyles on sistahs! That was my biggest obsession when deciding if it was for me or not. Even when my hair was relaxed, I’d flat twist my hair at the top or all over to make it wavy, or I’d wear it in a straw set at times to emulate natural hair styles. PLUS so many women in my family are natural! My mother had a fade back when I was in middle school! Shortly thereafter, my grandmother, aunts, and cousins followed suit. Then finally, lil’ ol’ me!
What has kept you motivated to remain natural?
I honestly see no other option. I’m not envious of women with relaxed hair because it’s just not part of my lifestyle anymore. I feel I have more versatility with my hair in its natural state. And I’m happy with it. You have to be confident in yourself to accept the natural hair on your head and I know that no matter what it’s doing on the outside, I know who I am inside!
What are two(2) natural hair products that you just can’t live without? Why?
As a self-proclaimed product junkie, this is a tough question! Going natural has nothing to do with me being a PJ, I grew up with a mother who frequented the beauty supply…so I get it honest! I would have to say my two favorite product lines are Oyin Handmade and SheaMoisture! They’re very moisturizing, help with my itchy scalp, and are reasonably priced with healthy (readable) ingredients. I also could not live without oil! I change it based on my current hair needs, but mixtures of oil has become my best friend. I currently have a mixture of peppermint, jojoba, grapeseed, and olive oil in my spray bottle.
What is your favorite way to wear your hair?
I would probably say I enjoy twist and braid outs the most. But I’m a chameleon and change my styles often! I have over 40 youtube vids to prove that:) http://youtube.com/mynaturalreality
What do you love about your natural hair?
I love that I love it! So often, we focus on things that we don’t like about ourselves, but I can honestly say I love my hair. It’s unpredictable and at times unruly, but I love it all the same!
What do you dislike about it?
I don’t necessarily dislike anything about my hair, but rather the way some people react to it. It’s 2012 and way past time for people to let people be themselves. If that means relaxing your hair, relax your hair! If that means being natural but flat ironing your hair weekly, flat iron your hair!! Time out with the judgements…just let people be great!
What tip(s) would you recommend to someone who wants to become natural, is transitioning, or needs advice about natural hair?
First, do your homework! There are so many great sites that can offer inspiration, motivation, and a voice of experience! Then, let your hair do what it’s going to do and embrace its uniqueness! Try not to compare it to those in which you have hair envy. I have many that I’m in awe of, but I am also pleased with what’s growing from my head as well. Be kind to your hair and it’ll be kind to you:)
Until next time….